Nine Thoughts On Rihanna’s “Work” Vid From Someone Actually Qualified To Share Thoughts On It » VSB

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Nine Thoughts On Rihanna’s “Work” Vid From Someone Actually Qualified To Share Thoughts On It

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A few weeks after the clusterfuck that was the Anti release (shout out the newly-unemployed Tidal team member who tripped and hit the big red button hours before he or she was supposed to), Rih Rih decided to bless us with some choice visuals for her first single “Work” and did not disappoint in delivering the dancehall-inspired bashment scene that I had fantasized on upon my first listen.

(Can we briefly discuss Anti as a project? I was pleasantly surprised by the effort. Totally not the direction I expected Robyn Fenty to take, but her decision to trend away from being just a singles artist in favor of putting together a cohesive project was a risk that I think worked in her favor. Rih got tired of us dragging her for her limited singing range, got herself a vocal coach, and gave us some ballads! It was altogether a lovely experience. Except for Higher. Higher is an act of violence that I like to pretend never happened).

Imagine my glee when I discovered that our Bajan Princess of IDGAF bless us with not one video, but two! This was far and away the highlight of my day, and that’s including finding some forgotten chocolate chip cookie dough in my freezer.

A few takeaways from the approximately 34293428429384 times I’ve played it:

1. All I need in this life of sin…is for a man to look at me with the same fervor as Rihanna looks at herself in the mirror. Lord knows if I looked like Rihanna, I’d be giving sex face to myself all the live-long day.

2. The group dance cutaways interspersed throughout the first video remind me of when my friends and I would create “crews” in high school that would do routines to dancehall jams in the club. We called ourself the Divas and you couldn’t tell us that our Nuh Linga wasn’t unfuckwitable. RIP Club Exit.

3. Shout out to ole’ girl working the chicken at 2:14. Post-bashment jerk is a necessity when you spent the bulk of your evening sweating out your leave out and mesh top.

4. Drake is showing up to the party in a sweatsuit? That’s more out of place than Jaheim’s get up at Whitney Houston’s funeral. As a matter of fact, he might as well shown up to the party in a suit, it’s about as practical for the festivities that ensued as a thick cotton full-body getup is for a packed-sweaty dance floor.

5. Speaking of our Canadian friend…Aubrey cannot dance worth a lick. Wow! If it’s not the same ole two-step, the man can’t find the beat if he had Google Maps’ step-by-step directions.

6. Two big thumbs up to the girl at 2:04 doing what I am pretty sure is the fastest recorded puppy tail in life. My puppy tail is currently more of a slow dramatic wag, but still I rise.

7. Also, props to the lovely lady in leopard print doing splits across the dance floor. Last time I did a singular split was in Negril in lower manhattan a little over a year ago. My inner thighs ached for a solid three days after. Getting old can be terrible.

8. Rihanna has me reconsidering my five year-plus long ban on middle parts. My sister in forehead real-estate pulled off an effortless middle part not once but TWICE. Is the mesh top the key to this? I need answers!

9. What do you think the average straight male would give up to be Drake on the couch in the second video? No X-box for a month? How about SportsCenter? Wings? Crispy Chicken Wraps? I’d wager that most would be willing to go bacon-free for a full season.

Needless to say, Rihanna delivered better than the Papa John’s worker who refuses to come upstairs*. In the barren winter expanse that is New York City, this glimmer of color and proper dancehall-infused pop (all shade to Bieber’s current sound transformation, ‘tropical house-flavored’ my ass) has me hotly anticipating throwing on my pum-pum shorts and crop top for the Brooklyn summer house party season.

*But seriously, the main reason I order delivery is because I’m too lazy to put on pants on to grab food, making me put on pants to come downstairs defeats the whole purpose.

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Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog,

  • I’m lowkey disappointed that Director X has never attempted to become a director because the visuals in the 1st Work video are amazing.

    The album is great from front to back (wait albums aren’t even front to back anymore because they’re digital).

  • Karate Kan

    Drake is FINE!

  • veryaveragebrotha

    I ever get a chance to smash Rhianna….Let the world be my witness, I’m smashing with NO protection except karma and jesus

    • PhlyyPhree

      And Jesus

      She gon ruin your life and your credit score, but saute on my brother

      • Lea Thrace

        Some people you just know are trouble. It then becomes a question of weighing the experience against the consequences of the experience.

        • PhlyyPhree

          As my friend Low would say, “Rihanna is Risk-It-AWL worthy” tho.
          I know the fire will burn, but I have to touch it.

          • Lea Thrace

            I love that you have a friend called Low. Is Low equal parts ratchet, hood, and still somehow sophisticated? I feel like I need a friend Low in my life.

            • PhlyyPhree

              Now that I stop to consider that question, yes. Yes he in fact IS all of those things. And yes. You should definitely get you one.

              • Epsilonicus

                You need those kinds of friends in your life.

          • Epsilonicus

            To quote Wayne Wonder: “No letting go. No pulling out. Gyal you are my angel”.

      • tgtaggie

        I put Riri in the same boat with Erykah Badu. Something about them will have a ninja walking around in a sackcloth

    • Epsilonicus
    • That last one though…. LOL

      Though according to the records, Bajan are just Igbo assimilated to the West Indies so… COUSIN! LOL

    • Siante


    • NKORigible

      CTFU. I had similar reactions.

  • Tambra

    Party dun!

  • Jasmine

    i’m getting the urge to shake it like a dimly lit high school houseparty and sweat out a weave.

  • miss t-lee

    I’ve watched the vid, I can dig it.
    I haven’t listened to the album yet. Higher should not have been the first track, I made it halfway through that song and gave up. Those notes were not her portion.
    Plus, I don’t normally do whole albums by Rih Rih. I dig some of her singles and nothing more.

    • Lakyn

      Consideration is the first track?

      • miss t-lee

        IDK…what I listened to the other day had “Higher” as the first track. Maybe I was wrong…lol

        • Lakyn

          Maybe you put it on shuffle? IDK. I like Higher, tho. It sounds very Kanye. I kept waiting for a verse from him.

          • miss t-lee

            Yeah…I wasn’t feeling it.

  • Lakyn

    I need a joint album with Rih and SZA. Maybe with some Santigold. Can someone make this happen?

    • miss t-lee

      Love Santogold. I’m good with just her on the track.

      • Lakyn

        I think their voices would work so well together. Like, a Caribbean girl group.

        • miss t-lee

          Maybe because I’m never really hear for Rih’s singing. Like I can tolerate it, but not for long.

          • Lakyn

            I can feel that. I’ve always stanned for ha but I’m very adamant that I never need to hear her live and I rarely listen to a whole album in one sitting unless it just came out. Her voice is….confusing.

            • miss t-lee

              It’s gotten much better since her debut…but it’s still not fantastic…lol

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        Went to school with Sante…She wine up like Rihanna back in the day too. Wouldn’t mind seeing that as well. Shout out to Santogold…dropping that hotness. Fiyah!

        • miss t-lee

          School mates? Nice!

          • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

            Yeah…she was couple of years ahead and rolled with the baddies, but was cool with my ‘seem older’ group of freshman guys. Good peoples.

            • miss t-lee

              cool, cool story.

        • KMN

          That’s cool!! I LOVE Santogold too…I listen to her at work to make it thru and to keep from choking some 2520s lolol

    • Ari

      My goodness yes I said the same thing – because Consideration was a perfect combination. A duet with SZA was the best way to start ANTI and pretty much the best joint on the album IMO.

    • Bleep Gilliam

      Now THAT would be fiyah!

    • Have you heard the new Santigold? It’s sitting in my dropbox waiting for me to download but I heard it’s dope.

      • Lakyn

        Didn’t even know it was out! I’m about to buy it right now.

        • Yes m’am. Called 99c

  • Brass Tacks

    I divide my experiences with West Indian/Caribbean culture into two distinct phases:

    1) When Sean Paul made those videos in the early aughts. Highschool/skating rinks/basements
    2) When I moved into the DC area, and experienced my first West Indian/Caribbean parade with my Guyanese ex: who wasn’t crazy, but not exactly sane either (I may have had a hand in this, in which case, I apologize a trillion times).

    Also, Drake seems like the type of ninja that would rather blow kisses than give dap.
    Drake the type to wanna play touch during tackle football.
    Drake the type of ninja to cry over spilled milk.
    Drake the type of ninja that would try to whisper in your ear when no one else is around.

    I…I…think i’m good now.

    • “Guyanese ex: who wasn’t crazy, but not exactly sane either”

      My life in a nutshell.

    • I have nothing of value to add other than this comment had me crackin up.

  • Qris_10

    Yes, yes, and YASSS to all this!! Loved the fact that someone brought back the dancehall video….gave me all sorts of Patra video flashbacks and whatnot. I ‘preciate it Rihanna.
    *BTW: I despise the fact that delivery people who come to apartments make you come outside to pick up food….that’s the reason why I ordered. I don’t want to put on shoes or presentable pants just in case a neighbor sees me. Bring your lazy a s s on up these here stairs. The minute you make me put on shoes or slippers or presentable pants is the minute I remove your tip from the bill. IJS

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